Meryl and Geoffrey Rosenhain, 2000.

Photo courtesy of Peter Rosenhain.

Rosenhain, Geoffrey (1911–2011)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: December 27, 2021

Geoffrey Rosenhain was an educator and educator director for many years.

Early Life

Geoffrey Rosenhain was born in Ballarat East, Victoria, on July 6, 1911, to Percival and Rachel Jane (Benjamin) Rosenhain.1 His mother died prematurely in 19232 and a Seventh-day Adventist friend of the family became his surrogate mother who, in turn, influenced him to later unite with her faith.3 His elementary schooling took place in Ballarat, progressing to the Ballarat High School where he completed his academy level education with honors in 1928. He advanced to the Ballarat Teacher’s College and received his Elementary Teacher’s Certificate in 1930.4 He accepted an appointment with the Victorian Government Education Department to teach in a village school in Gippsland, eastern Victoria. He found lodgings out of town, purchased a horse and rode to school each day, tethering the horse with water and shade in the playground and riding home in the afternoons.5 In this manner he gained some maturation before he enrolled at the Australasian Missionary College (AMC), graduating from their teaching course in the class of 1936.6

Denominational Teaching and Administration

Having some experience in education prior to his studies at AMC he was enlisted to teach in the demonstration school on campus during his graduation year. He continued there for a further eighteen months, 1937 through August 1938, because his methods were worthy of imitation by other student teachers. In mid-1938 an urgent need arose to find a head teacher for the Moonah Elementary School in Tasmania so Geoffrey agreed to make a temporary transfer. At the end of the year he accepted the role of head master of the Prospect Elementary School, suburban Adelaide, South Australia, a position he held for three years. At that time he improved his qualifications by earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1939 from the Adelaide University.7

During his term in Adelaide he met and married Bertha Meryl Davey, usually known as Meryl. Their wedding service was conducted on Tuesday evening, December 17, 1940, in the Prospect church by the conference president, Elder Eric Johanson.8

Geoffrey exhibited extraordinary skills as a teacher. He was chosen to direct the teacher-training department at AMC, beginning in 1942 and extending to 1958, broken only by two interludes. Some years, 1949 and 1953 through 1955, he carried the dual role of Registrar. He stamped his style of teaching on a generation of church school teachers. The period was interrupted by one year, 1944, when he served as Assistant Education Secretary for the Australasian Union Conference and a further two years for study leave. He had obtained a Master of Arts from Adelaide University in 1950 and took leave in 1956 and 1957 to earn a Doctor of Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.9 In his final written examination for his doctorate it was reported that he achieved the highest mark attained by candidates for some years.10

For thirteen years, 1959 through 1971, Geoffrey served as Education Director for the Trans-Tasman Union Conference (TTUC). His responsibilities involved the staffing, supervision and inspection of all the denomination’s schools throughout New Zealand and north-eastern Australia. It also included the writing of annual reports submitted to TTUC and maintaining a liaison with government education officials.11

Retirement Years

During his retirement Geoffrey re-entered the classroom for two periods of volunteer service. Due to a loss of staff at Beulah College in Tonga he went to their aid for six months. Another six months were spent at the Williams Lake Secondary School, a public institution in British Columbia, Canada.12

Initially Geoffrey and Meryl settled in retirement at Newport Beach, suburban Sydney, because they enjoyed surfing the ocean waves. With advancing years they transferred inland to Castle Hill and later Kenthurst, north-west Sydney. They were valued members of the Castle Hill church. Their final move was into the Anglican Chesalon Nursing Home, Beecroft.13 Meryl passed away in her ninety-fifth year on August 24, 2008.14 Geoffrey survived her together with son Peter Geoffrey (b.1943) and daughter Sally Louise (b.1946). Geoffrey passed away on May 15, 2011, a few weeks short of his one hundredth birthday.15 Both Meryl and Geoffrey rest in Avondale Memorial Cemetery, Cooranbong, New South Wales.16

Sources

Bews, Stephen. “Geoffrey Rosenhain.” Record, October 29, 2011.

District of Ballarat. Birth Certificates. Government of Victoria Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

District of Ballarat. Death Certificates. Government of Victoria Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Wahroonga, New South Wales. Work Service Records. Folder: Geoffrey Rosenhain. Document: “Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form.”

“Geoffrey Rosenhain.” Find A Grave Memorial, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209278192/geoffrey-rosenhain.

“Graduation Weekend at Avondale.” Australasian Record, December 14, 1936.

Johanson, E[ric] J. “Rosenhain-Davey.” Australasian Record, January 27, 1941.

“Writing to a friend…” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 23, 1957.

Notes

  1. District of Ballarat, Certificate of Birth no. 16901 (1911), Government of Victoria Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria. Note: Vital records have the variant spellings for ancestors as Rosenhein and Rosenheim.

  2. District of Ballarat, Certificate of Death no. 4159 (1923), Government of Victoria Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria.

  3. Peter Rosenhain, interview by Milton Hook, Hornsby, New South Wales, December 6, 2020.

  4. Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Wahroonga, New South Wales. Work Service Records. Folder: Geoffrey Rosenhain. Document: “Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form.”

  5. Peter Rosenhain, interview by Milton Hook, Hornsby, New South Wales, December 6, 2020.

  6. “Graduation Weekend at Avondale,” Australasian Record, December 14, 1936, 3.

  7. Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Wahroonga, New South Wales. Work Service Records. Folder: Geoffrey Rosenhain. Document: “Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form.”

  8. E[ric] J. Johanson, “Rosenhain-Davey,” Australasian Record, January 27, 1941, 7.

  9. Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Wahroonga, New South Wales. Work Service Records. Folder: Geoffrey Rosenhain. Document: “Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form.”

  10. “Writing to a friend…” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 23, 1957, 8.

  11. Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Wahroonga New South Wales. Work Service Records. Folder: Geoffrey Rosenhain. Document: “Geoffrey Rosenhain Biographical Information Form.”

  12. Peter Rosenhain, interview by Milton Hook, Hornsby, New South Wales, December 6, 2020.

  13. Ibid.

  14. “Geoffrey Rosenhain,” Find A Grave Memorial, 2020, accessed December 6, 2020, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209278192/geoffrey-rosenhain.

  15. Stephen Bews, “Geoffrey Rosenhain,” Record, October 29, 2011, 22.

  16. “Geoffrey Rosenhain,” Find A Grave Memorial, 2020, accessed December 6, 2020, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209278192/geoffrey-rosenhain.

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Hook, Milton. "Rosenhain, Geoffrey (1911–2011)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 27, 2021. Accessed September 25, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7IJY.

Hook, Milton. "Rosenhain, Geoffrey (1911–2011)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 27, 2021. Date of access September 25, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7IJY.

Hook, Milton (2021, December 27). Rosenhain, Geoffrey (1911–2011). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 25, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7IJY.